Regarding the letter of Feb. 17, “Get a muzzle loader and start marching,” the Second Amendment and gun control are hot, polarizing topics. Our founding fathers were very wise when writing the Bill of Rights. There are a lot of gun control advocates saying that since the 2nd Amendment was written in the days of muskets and that the authors couldn’t have foreseen the advances in weapon technology, that it shouldn’t apply to semi-automatic rifles; that these are “weapons of war” and no average citizen needs one.
This is a gross misunderstanding of the rationale. The country had just fought a war liberating it from British tyranny, and people realized that one of the primary reasons they won was that they had private arms. The first shots of the revolution were fired over “gun control.” When the Minutemen gathered on Lexington Bridge with their own muskets, it was to repel the British and prevent their seizure of arms stored in Concord. The muskets they had were the “weapons of war” of that day and time.
There’s a couple of key phrases in the Amendment. The first phrase, “being necessary to the security of a free state,” was intended to insure freedom and liberty, including self-defense, defense against outside enemies, and against internal tyrants. The second phrase said, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” It is a right of the people to keep and bear arms, and government is not to infringe on it. If you don’t think this was the mind set of our fathers, Google it; you’ll find lots of quotes for them about the importance of the citizen to keep and bear arms.
If the 2nd Amendment is outdated, then the same logic should apply to the 1st Amendment and it’s freedom of speech. Our fathers could never have imagined modern communications, radio, television, phones, and the Internet. So for those who say the Second Amendment applies to muskets only, then the First Amendment applies to printed or handwritten methods only, as those were the communication methods of that day.
In reality, part of the reason we can still enjoy the First Amendment is due to the Second.